There was another GOP Presidential Primary debate last night - hosted by ABC News (Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos) and held in Iowa. Republicans in Iowa go to their caucuses on January 3rd - kicking off the real voting for GOP convention delegates. This was the first debate with Newt Gingrich clearly in the front runner status - and there were a lot of expectations that all of the other candidates would be taking shots at the former Speaker.
I missed this debate. Instead of commenting on some of the live blog discussions across the conservative blogosphere or doing my own version of a live blog, I was at a swanky holiday party in downtown Los Angeles' Westin Bonaventure Hotel. Nice location and party - but the food was disappointingly average / below average. I could make some other comments - but perhaps at some point later...
Anyway, back to the point....this commentary seems to be a reasonable rundown based on my reading of the debate from various live blogs. One of the thing that really struck me was the $10,000 bet that Romney offered to Rick Perry. After a series of debates without a mistake, this is Romney's first real major gaffe - and probably the only real gaffe in last night's debate. For someone who is trying to play catchup in Iowa, I don't think a $10,000 bet that would inconceivable for most Iowans will play very well.
The other interesting moment from that debate was the question asked by former Clinton advisor Stephanopoulos, with a straight face no less, if infidelity should be an issue in Presidential campaigns...
With a full QH yesterday, I didn't report this right away, but the Mayor of Boston ordered the Boston Police to evict the OccupyBoston demonstrators from their encampment very early Saturday morning. The Police moved in with 'overwhelming' force and arrested 46 who resisted the efforts to clear them out.
Democrat organizers are working with Charlotte, North Carolina officials to ban OWS demonstrators from areas around their 2012 National Convention. This is interesting as many leading Democrats, including President Obama, continue to cite and support the movement. In fact, the values of this movement continue to be why President Obama says he ran for the highest office in the land. However, these same leading Democrats do not want the 2012 convention to be a modern day version of the 1968 Democrat convention in Chicago which was marred by violent demonstrations.
Tomorrow, December 12th, is the next major 'Day of Action' for the OWS movement here on the left coast. OWS movements in cities up and down the coast have pledge to shutdown all of the major west coast ports for the day. The problem for them is that the Union Longshoreman are not very happy that their workplaces are being selected for this action. They are rejecting the calls - so are we to see a case of 'Blue on Blue' conflict tomorrow?
With the occupation of parks / plazas in US cities pretty much failing for the OWS pinheads, their new strategy is to 'occupy' homes in the process of being foreclosed on because the owners were unable to pay their mortgage obligations. One of the MSNBC leftist nimrods, Chris Hayes, is busy not only interviewing a community organizer / OWS organizer for MSNBC, but very much in agreement with with the community organizer who defends these property thefts and defines the foreclosures as 'technicalities'. Yes, technically speaking the properties are being foreclosed on because the owner technically stopped making their payments as per their contract with the lender.
Speaking of journalistic bias and a complete lack of journalistic ethics, the Washington Post and their Baghdad Bureau Chief, Liz Sly, completely out do themselves in this morning's paper. Liz Sly, clearly anti-US military and anti-US involvement in Iraq, pens an article highlighting that as they leave Iraq, US military forces are leaving behind memories and pain of civilians deaths they are accused of causing. This is a disturbingly biased and factually challenged post that places the efforts of US military forces in the worst possible light. This is compounded by the add-on photo story placed with this article by the WaPo editors referencing how the residents of Haditha are haunted by the US Marine shooting spree. Haditha was the fraud perpetrated on US Marines where a number of Marines were convicted by the media and leading Democrats for war crimes that they didn't commit.
Actions like this are the main reason why so many people just don't bother with reading a daily newspaper any longer.
A US Senator with a long history of meeting and supporting the enemies of the United States, has gone to Egypt to meet with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. By the way, I think that I recall this Senator once served in Vietnam...it is seared or something in my memory...
Advocates for President Obama are seeking ways the President can use his constitutional powers, other than recess appointment, to appoint Richard Cordray to be the dictator in charge of the new Consumer Bureau created in the Dodd/Frank banking bill. Richard Cordray's nomination was blocked in the Senate when he failed to pass cloture. He is the second hard left ideologue that the President has tried to place in this unaccountable to Congress position, the first being the insufferable Elizabeth Warren.
President Obama has confidently said that be believes an 8% unemployment rate is possible by November 2012. I'm sure he is right. All that is needed is for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to drop another 800,000 to 1,000,000 people from the calculations for the 'official' unemployment numbers. Just say that they've given up looking for work and we can be at 8% by January 2012....
2 underlying economic shifts that few are looking at or reporting. One of these are the massive layoffs that are taking off, and will take place in 2012 throughout the financial services industry primarily as a result of Dodd / Frank. In 2011, 200,000 people in this sector have already lost their jobs. This is more than the 174,000 who lost their jobs in this sector in 2009. Tens of thousands more layoffs have been announced by the major financial services companies for 2012-13. The other is in the US Energy industry. Regulatory actions by the Administration are limiting any expansion of US energy production despite new finds and it is now economical to recover vast more amounts of coal, natural gas, and oil.
Shifting to the international news recap, Iran, which is now showing the captured US drone on Iranian TV, has announced that it will not be returning the drone to the US. Not only is Iran pledging to produce their own fleet of drones based on the captured aircraft, but they are declaring the deployment of this drone in their airspace as an 'act of war'.
One of the justifications and excuses for Iran's actions against the US come from those anti-Americans who promote the US sponsored coup in Iran in 1953 as a reason why Iran today commits their acts of war against the US. This is an interesting read of the real story of that coup....not the revisionist history presented by the left.
Over 60,000 in dozens of Russian cities took to the streets yesterday to rally against Vladimir Putin and the disputed election results from last weekend's Duma election which gave Putin's party a very slim majority. This does not bode well for Putin's run for President in March 2012. Are we seeing the start of a Russian Spring?
As the Climate Change Treaty Conference in Durban, South Africa wraps up, Powerline has an excellent post on the discussions. Powerline applies the same descriptive language that was used by Sir Winston Churchill to describe the negotiations regarding disarmament during the 1930's - 'A Prolonged and Solemn Farce'....
The Opinion and Financial pages of the UK's Telegraph today are dominated by discussions over the Merkozy Euro / EU deal that British PM Cameron stands alone opposing. In promoting this deal to expand centralized authority and bureaucracy, the leaders of the European Union are ducking the real issues that they have to face.
But most interesting, given the round condemnations of the PM's decision by Britain's left and pro-EU advocates are the arguments that while Cameron's decision does isolate Britain from the EU, that is exactly the point as Britain is now effectively isolated from the negative effects of the looming Euro disaster. Rather than join the EU, those in Britain should be pitying those who are still trapped in the EU nightmare - and will be living that nightmare over the next months.